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PAF JF-17 Thunder


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The PAC JF-17 Thunder (Urdu: تھنڈر), also designated CAC FC-1 Xiaolong(English: Fierce Dragon; Chinese: 枭龙; pinyin: Xiāo Lóng), is a light-weight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) of China, the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). It is designated as "JF-17 Thunder" by Pakistan, which is short for "Joint Fighter-17" and as "FC-1 Xiaolong" by China, which is short for "Fighter China-1 Fierce Dragon".

Role Multirole combat aircraft
National origin People's Republic of China, Pakistan
Manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex
First flight 25 August 2003
Introduction 12 March 2007
Status Two Squadrons Operational with the Pakistan Air Force as of 18 February 2010[1]
Primary user Pakistan Air Force
Produced In China: June 2007–present
In Pakistan: January 2008–present
Number built Prototypes: 6
Production: ~34
Program cost US$500 million[2]
Unit cost Block 1: US$15–20 million (estimated)[3][4][5]
Block 2: US$20–25 million[6]

Production versions

JF-17 Block 1 – Production in China began in June 2006.[117] The first eight Small Batch Production (SBP) aircraft, using the second prototype configuration, were produced in China and delivered to the PAF's JF-17 Test & Evaluation Flight from March 2007[118] to early 2008. A contract between the PAF and CATIC for 42 serial production aircraft was signed in March 2009.[119] The first three Chinese weapons to be integrated are the PL-5E II air-to-air missile, SD-10 air-to-air missile and C-802K anti-shipping missile. PL-5E II integration was completed in mid 2010. The last Block 1 aircraft, with 58% of its parts produced in Pakistan, will be completed by June 2012.[120] The Block 1 avionics package has been stated to be a positive surprise to the PAF, performing "better than expected" according to Air Commodore Junaid.[121]

JF-17 Block 2 – Ordered by the PAF in 2011, includes "enhanced features".[121] Believed to be fitted with a Chinese AESA radar, Infra-red search and track (IRST) system and improved electronic counter-measures (ECM) suite. Also believed to incorporate greater use of composite materials for reducing airframe weight and possibly a thrust vector control (TVC) engine.[76]

Specifications (JF-17 Block 1)

Data from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 14.0 m[129] (45.9 ft)
Wingspan: 9.45 m (including 2 wingtip missiles)[129] (31 ft)
Height: 4.77 m (15 ft 8 in)
Wing area: 24.4 m²[129] (263 ft²)
Empty weight: 6,411 kg (14,134 lb)
Loaded weight: 9,100 kg[10][130] (20,062 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 12,700 kg[130] (28,000 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Klimov RD-93 or WS-13 turbofan
Dry thrust: 49.4 kN[4][16] / 51.2 kN (11,106 lbf / 11,510 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 84.4 kN[16] / 86.36 kN[88] (18,973 lbf / 19,391 lbf)
G-limit: +8.5 g / -3 g [3]
Internal Fuel Capacity: 2300 kg (5,130 lb)[10]


Maximum speed: Mach 1.8[10][47] (1,191 knots, 2,205 km/h)
Combat radius: 1,352 km[16] (840 mi)
Ferry range: 3,480 km[131] (1,880 NM = 2,160 mi)
Service ceiling: 16,920 m[131] (55,500 ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.95 [10][16]


Guns: 1× 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel cannon (can be replaced with 30 mm GSh-30-2)
Hardpoints: 7 in total (4× under-wing, 2× wing-tip, 1× under-fuselage) with a capacity of 3,629 kg (8,000 lb) external fuel and ordnance
Air-to-air missiles:
Short range: AIM-9L/M, PL-5E, PL-9C
Beyond visual range: PL-12 / SD-10
Air-to-surface missiles:
Anti-radiation missiles : MAR-1 [90]
Anti-ship missiles: C-802A [72]
Cruise missiles: Ra'ad ALCM
Unguided bombs:
Mk-82, Mk-84 general purpose bombs
Matra Durandal anti-runway bomb
CBU-100/Mk-20 Rockeye anti-armour cluster bomb
Precision guided munitions (PGM):
GBU-10, GBU-12, LT-2 laser-guided bombs
H-2, H-4 electro-optically guided,[3] LS-6 satellite-guided glide bombs[132]
Satellite-guided bombs[3]
Up to 3 external fuel drop tanks (1× under-fuselage 800 litres, 2× under-wing 800/1100 litres each) for extended range/loitering time


NRIET KLJ-7 multi-mode fire-control radar[81]
Night vision goggles (NVG) compatible glass cockpit[10]
Helmet Mounted Sights/Display (HMS/D)

Externally mounted avionics pods:
KG-300G self-protection radar jamming pod[133]
WMD-7 day/night targeting pod[133]